The New England Patriots opened as consensus 6-point favorites in Super Bowl 52. As of Thursday morning, 59% of spread tickets are on the Philadelphia Eagles shifting the line to Pats -5 at eight of the 11 sportsbooks we track. There is even a -4.5 at 5Dimes.
What is causing the line movement? No bet signals have been triggered at Sports Insights, indicating public money, not sharp bettors, are driving the action. For recreational bettors, the conference championship games are fresh in their minds. Philly looked like world beaters in the NFC title game trouncing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7. Nick Foles (352 yards, 3 TDs) played so well he almost made Eagles fans forget he isn’t Carson Wentz. While Foles & Co. flew by the Vikes, the Patriots needed the 54th comeback of Tom Brady’s career to eke out a 24-20 victory over Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Recency bias isn’t the only factor, but it is clearly playing a role in early betting. Is a team’s performance in the conference championship predictive of Super Bowl success?